Eviction of occupiers with basic protection
- Occupiers with basic protection have very limited protection from eviction
- If you are an occupier with basic protection your landlord can evict you without having to give a reason
- You can only be evicted with a court order
Most occupiers can only be evicted in certain circumstances. Your landlord must follow the correct procedure. This section explains when landlords have the right to evict occupiers with basic protection and the procedures that must be followed.
Am I an occupier with basic protection?
You could be an occupier with basic protection if:
- you pay a very low rent or a very high rent.
- you are a property guardian
- you live in accommodation provided by your employer
This is not a complete list of situations where you could be an occupier with basic protection. It can be difficult to work out if you are an occupier with basic protection, so get help if you are unsure.
The 3 steps to eviction
To lawfully evict an occupier with basic protection, your landlord must follow 3 steps. Find out more about each step below.
A landlord does not have to prove any reason (or ‘ground’) to obtain a possession order against an occupier with basic protection.
The first step your landlord usually has to take is to write to you to ask you to leave. Most occupiers are entitled to a written notice but if you are a fixed term occupier your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order after the end of the fixed term. There is no need for the landlord to give you notice. If your landlord wants to evict you before the end of the fixed term your rights will depend on the exact terms of your contract.
If you are a periodic occupier your landlord must give you a written notice before you can be evicted. They don’t have to give a reason. The notice must:
- end on the day, or the day immediately before, your rent is due
- be for a certain length of time depending on how often you pay your rent and
- comply with any other terms in your tenancy agreement about giving notice.
If you pay rent weekly the notice must be at least four weeks. If you pay rent monthly the notice must be at least one month. Otherwise the notice must be the length of time agreed in your tenancy agreement (if you have one) or the length of time between rent payments, whichever is longer.
Once the notice ends your landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. If the notice you were given is valid the court has no choice but to make a possession order. It will usually order that you must leave in 14 days. It is only possible to delay the possession order (for a maximum of six weeks) if you are suffering great hardship.
Landlords have to pay court costs in order to evict tenants. If your landlord has to take you to court to force you to leave it is likely that you will have to pay your landlord’s court costs. Most tenants leave before the notice ends if they are able to.
Click here for advice on what to expect at court.
If you haven’t left by the date the court says you have to your landlord can arrange for a bailiff to evict you.
You will receive a letter from the court saying when the bailiffs will arrive. Bailiffs can physically remove you and your belongings from the property but must not use violence or unreasonable force in doing so.
Nobody other than a bailiff acting for the county court is allowed to physically remove you from the accommodation. If anyone else attempts to do this they are probably guilty of illegal eviction, which is a serious offence. Get help for advice if this happens to you.